Page 38 - The Valley Table - Fall 2021
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                                 Preferring to spend our money on wine versus accommodations, we checked into the budget-friendly Miami Motel ( in Canandaigua. With rooms ranging from $99 to $150 a night, it offered a clean, cute and conveniently located place to sleep. Years ago, owners Dennis and Valerie Calkins purchased this 1953 motor lodge that had fallen on hard times — and they’ve turned it into a perfectly fine place to stay. Always known as the Miami Motel, they went with the theme, adding turquoise accents and tropical touches throughout. Our carport room had a well-equipped kitchen, breakfast bar, in-room jacuzzi (motels with jacuzzis seem to be a thing in these parts), and a very comfortable bed.
Another option is Geneva on the Lake ( where the hotel and grounds are straight out of a classic Italian movie. A former mansion and monastery, the hotel overlooks Seneca Lake. Circuitous halls and stairways lead to rooms that feel more like beloved European apartments. A huge, well-tended maze of dark green hedges ringed by flowers leads to a lakeside pool with black and white striped umbrellas. Statues sprinkled around the property add to the atmosphere. There are wooded paths and a dock along the lake, plus Adirondack chairs to enjoy the view. Rooms start at $267/night.
Many of the best wineries are located along State Route 14 and all are within easy driving distance of either hotel. The town of Geneva is also close to both, offering a pretty
New York Kitchen
pier and a park along Seneca Lake with beautiful willow trees, many over a century old. As for restaurants, Geneva has a quite a few appealing choices.
We started with convenience, booking an afternoon tasting at Ravines Wine Cellars (, which was quite close to where we were staying. (Ravines has another tasting room on Keuka Lake in Hammondsport.)
At the end of a long country road, we came upon a large grey barn surrounded by a patio. After settling into a rustic wooden table under a golden chandelier and a huge beamed barn ceiling, we ordered the Bright Whites tasting and some homemade hummus that arrived in a cute little glass jar. The whites included two Chardonnays, a blend called Field Notes, sparkling Ayre, and their flagship
wine, the Dry Riesling. This vintage from 2017 had a nice minerality and touches of flowers, pear and citrus. Dry and delicious, it was our first Riesling of the trip and we enjoyed it very much. Their Rieslings, along with other varieties, are available to order online.
The next morning, we took an hour-long scenic drive to the charming little lakeside town of Aurora on Cayuga Lake. After a stop at the MacKenzie Childs ( home décor outlet, we visited the nearby Heart & Hands Wine Company
36 the valley table sept – nov 2021
photos by grant taylor photography

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